Why BlissRiver Organics:
Hi my name is AnnaLillian. I am a special and unique part of this world just like each and every one of you. I strive to do my best everyday; learning, growing and expanding. A lot of days I fail but I always learn and grown from it. Everyday I strive to be more connected and devoted to our beautiful mother earth. She is the direct connection to our life force and to the oneness of our amazing universe.
I started making elderberry syrup in 2015 after my oldest son had a cold. As a first time mother looking for something pure and delicious — and as a faithful believer in real food as medicine — I first discovered the healing properties of elderberry syrup. It was recommended to me by many of my wise and natural-minded mama friends. One of these moms shared some she had in her freezer. It worked wonders; within a few days my son’s cough and runny nose was gone. I was amazed and my connection to nature grew stronger.
By the time my son got his second cold I had a newborn. Once again, I turned to the elderberry. This time I was determined to understand the magic of mother earth a little more and make some of my own. I harvested some wild berries outside of San Luis Obispo, California where I live. The whole process was bliss for me. It was soothing and relaxing from foraging the wild elderberries, to picking them off the stem, to the smell that penetrated my kitchen and the mingling of all the ingredients in the pot. I felt connected to something — after all I made it myself with my own hands and my own love. I was hooked, but most importantly my son loved the taste and the magic happened again — by the next day his cold had gone.
I loved making elderberry syrup! Making it made my heart happy. It connected my soul to the earth, a connection that I always seek and crave. I started sharing it as Christmas gifts and trading for other homemade products I needed such as sourdough bread, kombucha, probiotic sodas and much more. I also just made some to give away, mostly because I felt the power and healing properties that the syrup gifted to us. Suddenly, people were asking to buy it.
There was a huge interest in the real food community for a pure elderberry syrup without any preservatives or alcohol. I became very interested in fulfilling this need and committed myself to finding out more about this amazing plant. Shortly after I heard a radio interview in my car while driving my kids around for a nap. The interview was about how the local Chumash Native American tribe felt the elderberry plant was sacred. They said if they could have only one plant, elderberry would be it. This really stuck with me. It felt so special and powerful. I drove around listening to this interview and got this overwhelming feeling that I was on the right track and should move forward with a business that delivers a real food elderberry syrup to the world. It hit deep inside my core and I knew I was being guided to pursue this. That same day the name RiverBliss came to me and shortly after I settled on BlissRiver Organics in honor of my two sons; Ananda my oldest (Which means Bliss in Sanskrit) and my younger son River. BlissRiver. It was perfect and truly embodied the path of love I took to finding this magical plant.
As a homeschooling mom I had found something special that worked for me, my family and my community. I invite you to experience the magic and healing that is elderberry. I source only organic ingredients and believe in the connection to our community. I believe we must think globally but work, act and give locally. I buy and source as many as my ingredients locally because I believe in community and sustainability.
Who I am:
My most important and time consuming job is as a dedicated and mindful mother to my two young boys. They feed me and motivate me to always be my best. I structure my business around my life with them. I’m constantly thinking of my time and connection to them; always keeping a healthy balance between their needs, my own and my customers and business. I am a work at home mom, an artist and truth seeker. I am also a photographer and behavioral tutor to students on the Autism Spectrum and other learning and social disabilities. I run the business with my partner Ryan of 12 years. We feel blessed to call San Luis Obispo our home. Within this town we have found the most caring, loving and genuine people and some of the best of what mother earth has to offer. I believe we each have the power to change the world with our actions, words, lifestyles and dollars.
Nature is the place that always soothes and heals me best. I truly believe that through connection to nature we find the best of ourselves. Finding the best of ourselves means we can offer the best. It’s not always pretty and perfect but it’s real. Just the way nature is not always pretty and perfect. I always love to refer to it as “perfect chaos”. This is where I always find my true voice, deep down inside; the voice of god.
How we run our Business:
FairTrade and Sustainability is where we find the true value in people and in the earth. It’s where we live harmoniously in peace and connected to the oneness of it all. This is how I choose to run my business. I will always be pushing the envelope for human rights and the protection of our earth. I will take every step, every time to getting BlissRiver to a Fair For Life company.
What you will always find is organic, real-food, fair trade ingredients. Sustainable farming practices that support our earth for this and many generations to come. I offer fair wages and the respect for each individual's unique gifts and ideas. Our labels and packaging are on the forefront of environmental practices. The sugarcane labels and BioTAK adhesives are fully compostable and biodegradable.
I run the business with my creative and loving partner, Ryan. Our souls have been deeply connected for the last 12 years with the greatest accomplishment and growth together happening in the last 5 years as mindful and peaceful parents...the hardest job in the world but of course the most important one as well.